Citibank SMRT Card – MoneySmart Review 2020

Citibank SMRT card Review

You might think that SMRT is the source of all your problems, but that doesn’t mean you should refuse to sign up for the Citibank SMRT Card out of spite. Its name might make it sound like a glorified EZ-Link card, but it’s actually one of the better cashback credit cards available right now.

In fact, its benefits go beyond just MRT-related rebates. It’s one of the best cashback credit cards in Singapore with no minimum spend. Here’s what the Citi SMRT Card has to offer.

Citibank SMRT Card terms & conditions

Citibank SMRT Card
Annual fee & waiver $192.60 (waived for the first two years)
Supplementary annual fee $96.30 (waived for the first two years)
Interest free period 25 days
Annual interest rate 26.90%
Late payment fee $100
Minimum monthly repayment 1% or $50, whichever is higher
Foreign currency transaction fee 3.25%
Cash advance transaction fee 6% or $15, whichever is higher
Overlimit fee $40
Minimum income $30,000 (Singaporean) / $42,000 (non-Singaporean)
Card association Visa
Wireless payment Visa Contactless, Samsung Pay, Citi Pay

The Citi SMRT Card offers $120 cash back as you spend $1,200 in the first 3 months. This welcome offer is valid till January 2021.

Benefits of the Citi SMRT Card

Do you buy groceries at NTUC and assessment books at Popular? Do you eat fast food at McDonald’s and drink kopi at Toast Box? Does your idea of a nice evening out consist of coffee at Starbucks followed by a movie?

If you’ve answered yes to any of the above, congratulations, you’re just like 99.9999% of Singaporeans. The Citibank SMRT Card offers rebates if you hit the min. spend of $300 at the places below. Savings are awarded in SMRT$, which can be redeemed for cash rebate or vouchers.

Here’s a list of cashback benefits you can get with the Citi SMRT Card:

Spending category Cash rebate (spend <$300) Cash rebate (min. spend $300)
Groceries from Fairprice, Giant and Sheng Siong (or FairPrice Xtra Kallang Wave)* 4.7% 5% (or 7.3%)
Fast food (McDonald’s, KFC, Subway, Burger King, PastaMania, Sakae Sushi, BreadTalk, Pizza Hut) 4.7% 5%
Cafes (Starbucks, tcc, Coffee Bean, Coffee Club, Gloria Jean’s, Toastbox) 4.7% 5%
Movies (Cathay, Filmgarde, GV, Shaw) 4.7% 5%
Kids & pets (Popular, Toys ‘R’ Us, Pet Lovers Centre) 4.7% 5%
Online shopping (excludes travel) 2.7% 3%
EZLink reload auto top-up   1.7% 2%
Health & beauty stores (Watsons, Guardian, Unity, Nature’s Farm, GNC) 1.7% 2%

*Do note that 5% SMRT$ is awarded for transactions of $50 and above only for groceries. For all transactions under $50, 3% SMRT$ is awarded instead, even if you hit the minimum spend of $300. 

It’s one of the rare online shopping cashback cards with no minimum spend. (The only other one is the Standard Chartered Spree card, which loses out slightly – only 2% cashback on local online spending.) However, you shouldn’t use this card for online travel bookings as it’s excluded from the online category.

Also, whether it is buying movie tickets or fast food online, your spending could come under online shopping rather than their original spend categories, for which you will earn 2.7% (total spend below $300) or 3% for (total spend above $300).

If monthly spending is at least $300, you enjoy up to 3% savings on online shopping 2.7% + 0.3% (if monthly card spend is at least $300).

Finally, it’d be stupid if an “SMRT Card” didn’t give you decent rebates for taking the MRT, and EZ-Link is indeed one of the cash rebate categories on this card.

When you get the card, it will automatically have EZ-Reload enabled on it. There’s no convenience fee for EZ-Reload auto top-up transactions, and you can get up to 1.7% or 2% (if you hit the min. spend of $300) in rebates. It’s not great lah, but we’ll take what we can get.

Important note: The automatic top-up value is $30. You need to manually change the amount to more than $30 to get the maximum cashback of 2%. To do so, go to any TransitLink Ticket Office the MRT station to cancel the EZ-Reload, wait a few days, and then reapply on the EZLink website.

Who should use the Citibank SMRT Card?

By now, you should have noticed that many credit cards try to market themselves to the ambitious, aspirational middle class, with the promise that using that piece of plastic will make you look richer and more sophisticated. Many of these cards are also pretty much useless if you’re not dining at fancy restaurants or jet-setting every other day.

That’s where the Citibank SMRT Card differentiates itself. This is a card for basic Singaporeans who are not interested in cultivating an atas lifestyle to impress their peers, and for young and budget-conscious families who appreciate an all-purpose cashback credit card.

The wide range of everyday merchants makes it possibly one of the most practical cash back credit cards out there for cost-conscious Singaporeans looking to cut their expenses further, no matter the age.

The main drawback is that it doesn’t really reward you for some of the more extravagant expenses in life. For instance, air tickets and hotel stays are conspicuously excluded from their cashback offer for online shopping, as are restaurant dining and entertainment.

Alas, the cashback isn’t unlimited. It’s credited in SMRT$ and there’s a cap of $600 a year (average $50/month). It’s quite convenient to convert your SMRT$ to cashback though – you can redeem SMRT$ via SMS.

Citibank logo
No Minimum Spend for Cashback
Cash Back on Eligible Spend
5%
Cash Back Cap per year
S$600
Min. Spend per month
S$300

Citibank SMRT Card promotions

Shopee

Citibank SMRT Card – MoneySmart Review 2020

  • If you’re new to Shopee, get $7 off with a minimum spend of $15 in a single transaction [Promo code: CITINEW7]
  • Enjoy 10% off, capped at $4 discount per transaction [Promo code: CITITEN4]
  • Valid till 31 Dec 2020

EAMart

Citibank SMRT Card – MoneySmart Review 2020

  • If you’re new to EAMart, enjoy 20% off with minimum spend of $80 [Promo code: CITIEAMARTNEW]
  • Get $10 off with minimum spend of $80 [Promo code: CITIEAMARTXXX – XXX refers to the first 3 alphabets of each month; i.e. AUG, SEP, OCT, NOV, DEC]
  • Each offer is limited to 1,000 redemptions per month
  • Valid till 31 Dec 2020

 

Alternatives to the Citibank SMRT Card

There are some other cards on the market geared towards lower spenders who’re just looking to get a bit of cashback on their everyday expenses, such as the following.

Maybank Family & Friends Card – New features include cash rebate up to 8% on all restaurant spends in Singapore and Malaysia, as well as data communication and online TV streaming.You also get up to 8% rebate on petrol and grocery shopping (including online grocery stores), selected shopping stores, contactless bus and train rides and taxi and all passenger transportation services (eg. Grab and Gojek). There’s a higher minimum spend of $800 a month though. And if you hit $500/month, your rebate is 5%. Cash rebate is capped at $80/month.

Maybank logo
Online Promo
Cash Back on Groceries, Dining, Transport and Petrol in Singapore & Malaysia
Up to 8%
Cash Rebate on Shopping and Data communication & online TV streaming
Up to 8%
Cash Rebate Cap per month
S$80
Online Promo: Get S$100 Cash Credit with Maybank Credit Cards and CreditAble! Valid till 31 Dec 2020.

UOB Delight Card – This is another good one for buying your groceries (Cold Storage, Market Place, Jasons, Giant, Guardian) – 8% SMART$ rebate (min. spend $800/month) or 3% SMART$ rebate (min. spend $400). You also get 3% SMART$ rebate on public transport payment via NETS FlashPay Auto Top-Up. The obvious drawback is that cheaper supermarkets like NTUC FairPrice, Giant and Sheng Siong are not eligible for cashback.

HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card – Get 5% cash rebate on groceries and dining (minimum $600 spend per month for all 3 months in a calendar quarter). Also, get up to 20.2% on petrol at Caltex, and 14% instant petrol discount and up to 5% cash rebates at Shell.

HSBC logo
Cashback for Family Spending
Cash Back on Dining, Groceries, Petrol
5%
Cash Back Cap per quarter
S$250
Min. Spend per month, per quarter
S$600

Do you have the Citibank SMRT Card? Share your reviews in the comments!